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Consumer cuts in buoyant economies hit global recovery hopes

(2011-01-24 17:20:58)
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Consumers in the most buoyant economies are cutting back on weekly shopping bill more than their peers in the economically depressed US and Europe, according to Nielsen, the audience measurement and consumer tracking company.

尼尔森(Nielsen)的数据显示,最具活力经济体的消费者每周削减的购物支出,比经济低迷的美国和欧洲的消费者更多。尼尔森是一家追踪消费者消费行为的调查公司。

The findings, part of a survey that shows record numbers of consumers have no spare cash left for discretionary spending, appear to undermine hopes that Asian shoppers will fuel multinationals’ profit growth and help rebalance the global economy.

上述调查结果可能会让一种希望——即亚洲消费者将推动跨国企业盈利增长、帮助全球经济实现再平衡——落空。该调查还显示,没有闲钱用来自由支配支出的消费者数量达到了创纪录的水平。

According to the survey, which questioned 26,000 respondents, 79 per cent of Asians cut their spending to save on household expenses in the fourth quarter of last year. That compares with 62 per cent of Europeans and 65 per cent of North Americans.

根据尼尔森对2.6万名受访者的调查,79%的亚洲人去年第四季度削减了支出,以节约家庭开支,而欧洲和北美的这一比例分别是62%和65%。

That is despite the fact Asians are the most optimistic about their home economy. While 84 per cent of North Americans and 69 per cent of Euro- peans believe their country to be in recession, just 41 per cent of Asians think so.

而亚洲人对本国经济最为乐观。虽然84%的北美人和69%的欧洲人认为自己的国家正陷于衰退之中,但持这种看法的亚洲人只有41%。

Part of the reason for Asian thrift is historical. The absence of a welfare safety net in China and much of Asia has long fostered a mentality of saving, and the region has some of the highest savings rates in the world.

亚洲人的节俭有其历史渊源。缺乏福利保障网络的中国和大部分亚洲国家长期以来形成了节俭理念,亚洲地区的储蓄率是世界上最高的。

But the big quarterly jump in thriftiness – from between 60 and 73 per cent in earlier quarters of 2010 – also suggested concern about house prices after the government took steps to tame the real estate market, said Chris Morley, managing director of Nielsen in the UK.

但尼尔森英国董事总经理柯瑞斯(Chris Morley)表示,中国人节俭程度的大幅上升——2010年前三季度在60%至73%之间——也表明,在政府采取措施抑制房地产市场后,消费者对房价感到担忧。

Mr Morley, who previously ran the information group’s mainland China practice, added that rising prices for food and fuel, which make up a bigger component of the shopping basket in emerging markets, could also be behind the frugality.

曾负责尼尔森中国内地业务的柯瑞斯补充称,在新兴市场消费支出中占据较大比例的食品和燃料价格日益上涨,可能也是新兴市场消费者节俭的原因所在。

“You have such high savings rates in Asia and as soon as you talk about recession the knee-jerk reaction in the Asian community is to switch into this even higher savings mode,” he said.

他表示:“亚洲储蓄率已经相当高了,但一旦谈到衰退,亚洲社会的本能反应就是转向更高的储蓄模式。”

Other research by Nielsen shows how even essential purchases suffer when confidence dips, although typically there is a longer time lag than in the west. Mr Morley said sales of fast-moving consumer goods slumped from mid-2008, when sales were growing at 24 per cent year-on-year, to early 2009, when sales shrank by 6 per cent.

尼尔森的另一项研究表明,在信心下降时,甚至基本消费也会受到影响,尽管滞后时间通常比西方要长。柯瑞斯表示,2008年中,快速消费品的销售较上年增长24%,而到2009年初,则较上年下降了6%。

FMCG sales are now rising again at double-digit levels, although some of this increase simply reflects higher commodity costs.

快速消费品的销售目前再次出现了两位数的增长,尽管这种增长在一定程度上只是反映了大宗商品价格的上涨。

European household spending patterns have remained stable over the year, while North American thriftiness dipped in the fourth quarter.

欧洲的家庭支出模式过去一年保持稳定,而北美的节俭程度在第四季度有所下降。

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